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Our Local Story & Exhibition

The Chicago story Resisting Cycles of Environmental Injustice in La Villita is one of 22 stories featured in the Climates of Inequality exhibit. Our local story was researched and developed by UIC students in two Museum and Exhibition Studies (MUSE) Program courses taught by Dr Cabrera, Director of the Latino Cultural Center during the 2018-19 academic year. Students worked with community partners, Alianza Americas and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) to collect oral histories from community members who helped shape the Little Village story.

The traveling exhibition opens in Chicago on October 11th and will remain in the Chicago Justice Gallery until the May 2024.

Exhibition Introduction 

The University of Illinois Chicago’s Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center and Social Justice Initiative in partnership with community organizations Alianza Americas and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) presents Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice.

The climate crisis is not new for those it most severely impacts – Indigenous and Black communities, People of Color, and low-wage earners. Instead, it is a continuation of disproportionate environmental harms they have resisted for generations. This exhibition features the stories of 7 communities as they confront their respective locality’s history of environmental racism – and how these legacies are contributing to the climate crisis. The stories are a part of the participatory public memory project led by the Humanities Action Lab and created in collaboration with over 500 students, educators, and environmental justice advocates in more than 20 cities across the US, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Mexico.

Climates of Inequality centers climate change as a social justice issue and expands the Chicago story from Little Village to feature other “sacrifice zones”: Altgeld Gardens, Calumet River, McKinley Park, Pilsen, and the Southeast Side. By featuring the voices of local artists, leaders, and residents, this exhibition affirms the work and dedication of frontline communities combating environmental and climate harms while creating a more just future.

Exhibition Location:

Chicago Justice Gallery
1344 S. Halsted St.

Gallery Hours:

February 8th – May 25th, 2024

  • Tuesday: By appointment only
  • Wednesday thru Saturday: 10am-2pm
  • Closed Sundays + Mondays

Guided exhibition tours are available upon request – link below!

Request here! COI Tours Reservation Form